Former editor David Hollingworth talks us through the final, grisly details…

Mikolai Napieralski spent ten years freelancing for Australia’s iconic Hyper magazine. He is currently working on a project about video game magazines from the late ’80s and early ’90s. Mikolai’s investigation of Hyper’s final days is presented in two parts containing detailed interviews with the magazine’s last two editors, Daniel Wilks and David Hollingworth. Both parts have been edited and re-published at SUPERJUMP with permission. You can find Part 1 here.

“When you are dead, you don’t know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others…”

Hyper magazine was well and truly dead by 2018. It just…


After 25 years of publishing, the magazine disappeared without a trace

Mikolai Napieralski spent ten years freelancing for Australia’s iconic Hyper Magazine. He is currently working on a project about video game magazines from the late ’80s and early ’90s. Mikolai’s investigation of Hyper’s final days is presented in two parts containing detailed interviews with the magazine’s last two editors, Daniel Wilks and David Hollingworth. Both parts have been edited and re-published at SUPERJUMP with permission.

My history with Hyper Magazine dates back to December 1993, when the debut issue appeared on newsstands.


Former editor David Hollingworth talks us through the final, grisly details…

“When you are dead, you don’t know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others…”

Hyper magazine was well and truly dead by 2018. It just didn’t know it.

While its quarterly specials still haunted newsagents, the low circulation numbers, dwindling advertising, and a barely there web presence told the real story.

So when it was announced that long serving editor Daniel Wilks was leaving and the magazine’s assets were being sold to a foreign publisher, those of us still paying attention assumed it was all over. …


Compute! magazine. part 2.

Compute! magazine

When I first started writing about old video game magazines the ideas was to just riff on whatever themes and memories came to mind. Which was fun, but it wasn’t necessarily accurate. And the more I started looking back the more I realised there were untold stories that deserved a more nuanced approach than me commenting on moustaches or calling people “dorks.”

I didn’t call anyone at Compute! a dork, but I did say the publication was a dinosaur that didn’t know it. That may or may not be true. …


How 25 years of gaming history disappeared…

My history with Hyper magazine dates back to December 1993, when the debut issue appeared on newsstands. Billed as Australia’s first multi-format video game magazine, it featured Chun-Li on the cover, a feature on ‘virtual sex’ and a profile on the upcoming 3DO system from Panasonic — “The future of video games?”

I was producing a video game fanzine at the time, Neo Tech, and sent a copy to Hyper asking them to mention it. I’m not sure what I wrote in the accompanying letter, but they featured my photocopied effort in issue…


That 9% Road Fighter review

“A shambling mockery of a sick parody of a game cartridge…”

They don’t write game reviews like they used to.

But the overall quality of games has also improved dramatically. You’ll still get the odd duffer, sure, but it’s not like it was back in the day.

And even by the lax standards of the early 90s, Road Fighter on the NES is a bit special. I’ve never played it, obviously, but the 9% review score it received from Mean Machines suggests it’s a disaster for the ages.


Forgotten 16bit console wars from the 90s…

(DieHard) GameFan magazine began life as a mail order catalogue. You’d find their ads in the back of EGM; it was all hastily cropped manga images, import titles from Japan, and hyperactive use of exclamation marks!

Eventually they ‘pivoted’ to publishing a full blown magazine, which was known for three things;

  1. Ridiculously hyperbolic praise of obscure titles
  2. Eye bleed layouts that made it hard to read the text
  3. Poor grammar and typos

In other words, it was great. A genuine alternative to both the UK and US publications, and a mostly forgotten relic of the era. …


The blueprint for video game magazines in the 90s

Julian ‘Jaz’ Rignall &
Rich Leadbetter &
Rad Automatic &
Gary Harrod &
Oz Brown*

30 years after the fact, I can still recall the staff of Mean Machines magazine like it was yesterday. I assume I’m not the only one. For a generation of kids raised on Sega vs Nintendo, the names listed above are as iconic as the ones on the bootleg NWA or Beatles t-shirts you see floating around.

Before there was Twitter, Twitch, Tik Tok or YouTube. Before the Internet. …


Or how I stopped worrying and learned to love Dr Mario…

Memory is a funny thing. I swear to God there is an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head where the pair cracks jokes over the videoclip to Jeremy by Pearl Jam. You know, the song about a bullied teen that brings a gun to school and shoots himself in front of his classmates. While I’m convinced this happened, I’ve never been able to find that actual episode.

Similarly, I’m convinced that there’s an editorial in Videogames and Computer Entertainment (VG&CE) magazine where they criticise Dr Mario for peddling drugs to kids. I’ve not been able to find this feature. And God…


…and the uneasy transition from home computers to Nintendo

My mother was a librarian. She used to bring home all kinds of books and magazines back when I was a kid. We didn’t have much money in those days, and there were only 5 TV channels, so a copy of the latest import magazine or sci-fi book was an escape from the suburb tedium.

One day she arrived home from work with a copy of William Gibson’s Neuromancer. It was 1989, I was 11 years old, and the Internet as we know it was still several years away.

While Gibson was writing about Cyberspace, neon lit data banks, and…

Forgotten Worlds

Old video game magazines from 1988 to 1994. Plus extras. By Mikolai

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